Making Sense Of The Bachelor’s Alayah Nonsense

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Peter Weber's Bachelor season is — to lean into the show's corny flight references — off to a turbulent start. It seemed like Peter was making the easy, responsible move when he sent Alayah Benavidez home in episode 3, but when she came back to the show the following week, oof, it did not go over well. Many of the contestants actually appear to have turned against Peter for letting her stay. But the question of what exactly Alayah did on The Bachelor to start this wild ride opens up a mess of lies, deceit, pageants, and of course "wrong reasons." Here's how we got where we are now.
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Why Did Alayah Do On The Bachelor?

The Alayah drama started in episode 3, when Sydney Hightower told the cameras that Alayah is "fake." We see clips of Alayah talking about how everyone thinks she's prim and proper because she's a pageant girl, but that she gets "nasty." We're not exactly dealing with facts at this point, but her fakeness is, apparently, evident in the fact that she's wearing a captain's hat and saying, "Cheers, bitches!" while sitting on a kitchen island at Bachelor mansion.
The drama stays between Sydney and Alayah at first and they are, predictably, paired up for a pillow fight on a group date led by Bachelor alum Demi Burnett. Then, with no more concrete facts that we had during the day, Sydney confronts Alayah about being fake again that night. Alayah responds by saying her pageant past is why she seems fake. But then, Sydney makes the classic Bachelor move of telling the lead about a contestant with potential "wrong reasons" and this is how things really blow up. Peter is pretty afraid of having his own Jed situation, like Hannah Brown did on The Bachelorette, so the claim that someone in the house is fake goes a lot further than it may have with someone without that fear.
Peter regrettably begins a search for other contestants who believe Alayah is there for the wrong reasons — if only the term did have an amorphous definition that's nearly impossible to prove! He finds a few of anti-Alayah testimonials at the pool party the next day; multiple women, including Victoria Paul who suggests Alayah lied to get on the show, say Alayah is different when cameras aren't around. Armed with this information, Peter decides to eliminate Alayah, and her rose, at the rose ceremony. He nipped the drama in the bud (after first entertaining it for several hours) until...
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Alayah Comes Back To The Bachelor

The Bachelor's episode 4: Alayah is back to set her story straight. She tells Peter she was blindsided when Victoria P.'s claims got her kicked off of the show, because she and Victoria were actually pretty close. (Peter for his part, was upset by his own decision to cut her on episode 3.) Though Victoria P. was far from the only one to voice an issue with Alayah, this Victoria P. lie seemed to be the main issue for Peter, so he asked her to stay on the show.
After that, several of the women shifted their frustrations to Peter, because he'd been alienating them by giving so much attention to Alayah drama and by bringing her back in. In a moment beloved by Twitter, Deandra Kanu told Peter in front of everyone, "I’m sorry, Peter, but I’ve never felt so under-recognized by somebody."
However, people continued to be angry with Alayah because during her time outside of the show, she saw information online indicating that Victoria Fuller went on a one-on-one where her ex was the performer. This is, of course, true, but Victoria F. was angry that Alayah had told everyone about it. Apparently, she was hoping to keep that detail a secret. It should be noted, though, that the secret was filmed in a public place for a nationally broadcast TV show and that Bachelor producers are a thing.

Are Victoria P. & Alayah Friends Or Not?

Another cog in this anger machine is the issue of Victoria P. and Alayah's non-friendship (or was it just friendship?) before the show. Victoria P. spoke to Peter about Alayah in episode 3, and claimed that Alayah asked her not to tell producers about them knowing each other from the Miss USA pageant. Victoria P. also said that she only was around Alayah for about three hours, and that Alayah is "really open to all the opportunities that could come after this." When confronted with these claims, Alayah admitted that she asked Victoria not to tell the producers, but only so they had a better chance of both being cast. (Admittedly, that doesn't make a ton of sense, but the Bachelor casting process is a bit of a mystery to be fair.)
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She also says that she knows Victoria P. very well, contradicting the latter's claims to Peter. Alayah told Peter that she and Victoria P. knew each other so well that they went on a trip to Las Vegas together (reddit sleuths dug through Alayah's Instagram Story highlights for photos of the trip, if you're feeling investigatory). Victoria P. then admitted that they did go on a group trip to Vegas, which is a huge red flag, because she previously said they only knew each other for a few hours.
And while all the women are complaining about Alayah being back, a contestant named Savannah Mullins pipes up and says that Victoria P. can't be trusted either. Her evidence is that Victoria supposedly spoke poorly about Alayah in a closet, away from cameras, before acting like they were buddies at a rose ceremony.

What Has Alayah Said About The Bachelor After The Show?

Now that we know Alayah was sent home a second time on The Bachelor, we can talk about what happened after that. Alayah maintains that she isn't "fake" and that she knew Victoria P. longer than three hours. One is hard to prove, the other seems pretty likely to be true. Over on Instagram, she's talked a lot about staying positive since Peter's season started airing. She also wrote in a January 20 post, "Boarding my @delta airlines flight back home to San Antonio.... and I’m expecting some turbulence... Seems like an appropriate enough way to watch tonight’s episode of The @bachelorabc. Buckle up ladies and gentleman, sh*ts about to go down. #Prayforme #cryingiscool." (Peter flies for Delta, by the way.)
But while Alayah wasn't coming off as "genuine and real" to the other contestants, the bigger issue at this point is Peter. He's the one who is making many of the contestants feel ignored, and he's the one who invited Alayah back and made everything about her. Now, viewers will just have to see if he's able to pull himself out of this self-created pool of drama or if he's going to head back to the open skies a single man.
Update: This story was originally published at 5:45 pm on February 3, 2020. It has been updated to reflect Alayah's elimination on The Bachelor.

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